CRAY WANDERERS 5-1 DULWICH HAMLET
Robert Dyas Ryman League Cup Third Round
Tuesday 26th November 2013
Report courtesy of Stephen McCartney
CRAY WANDERERS’ assistant manager Mike Paye says he will be on the telephone to manager Keith Bird to tell him about their side’s impressive performance against high-flying Dulwich Hamlet in the Robert Dyas Ryman League Cup.
The Wands went into this Third Round tie against last season’s beaten finalists struggling in the bottom two in the Ryman Premier League table, having collected 11 points from 18 games, but they were clinical in front of goal against a much-changed Dulwich Hamlet side, who were in fifth-place in the table with 35 points from 16 games.
Both sides made a number of changes from their league games at the weekend, with Cray Wanderers making four and Dulwich Hamlet seven.
But the sparse crowd of 69 were treated to an entertaining game, with Cray Wanderers sealing a morale-boosting victory as they bid to avoid their first relegation in their 153-year history.
Cray Wanderers, who were without their manager who was in Paris on business, went into the break a goal up courtesy of former Leyton Orient striker Elyon Marshall-Katung scoring his first goal for the club.
But three goals inside nine minutes gave Cray Wanderers a shot in the arm. Winger Jason Henry’s brave diving header put the home side in the driving seat before former Bromley reserve team striker Dan Hughes scored a brace.
Man-of-the-match Jack Sherratt, 19, marked an excellent performance with a stunning 35-yard strike, before Dulwich Hamlet scored a late consolation through left-back Kristian Campbell.
Paye was very pleased with his side’s performance.
“We’ve been playing some good football in the last few games but we just wasn’t getting the run of the ball at the right times,” he said.
“Just before half-time Elyon took his goal very well and that set us up for the second half really because they had to come out at us a little bit and the players had the impetus and we scored another four goals.”
Paye hopes Cray Wanderers – who have used 46 players already this season – have turned the corner – after winning their fourth game in eleven since taking over from legendary former boss Ian Jenkins.
“I’d like to think so,” said Paye. “When we came in we cleared 30-40 players away from the club. We’ve had a real shake up and it’s very been very difficult to try and get the right calibre of players but we’re starting to get them in little dribs and drabs.
“The boys’ are starting to play to the systems that we want now and hopefully they’ll use this as a stepping stone and move on from there.”
Dulwich Hamlet boss, Gavin Rose, meanwhile, was far from impressed with his youngsters.
“Very disappointing, regardless of the personnel playing in the team today, said Rose.
“Our performance was nowhere near the level of our football club, where for me we lacked a bit of desire and just basically lacked a bit of ambition in their play as well. We defended poorly and we got what we deserved in terms of their chances really.
“They were very clinical. They probably scored from the majority of chances and it happens like that sometimes but in fairness we shouldn’t be conceding goals so easily.
“We maybe could have taken one or two chances as well but it was the general play of our team what was more concerning to me. We didn’t pass the ball as fluently as we should. We didn’t get the ball back quickly enough, just didn’t defend well enough.”
But Rose insisted his players didn’t allow complacency to creep in to the ranks.
He said: “The boys who played today are not the guys who got us in the position where we are in the league table so they’ll be foolhardy to take that stance because they’ll be riding off the back of a wave of what the senior boys have been doing.
“The majority of them have contributed in bit parts really. As a collective they’ll have no real right to really think that.”
Cray Wanderers created the opening chance of the night inside the opening six minutes.
Dulwich Hamlet’s goalkeeper Phil Wilson’s pass towards Kershaney Samuels was intercepted by Hughes who cut into the box and was twice denied by the 31-year-old stopper with two fine low saves.
Wilson started the move that lead to the visitors’ first opening within two minutes.
The keeper played the ball to right-back Tyler Myers, who clipped a long ball to release striker Marcel Henry-Francis, who cut inside before drilling a right-footed shot towards the bottom near corner, which forced seventeen-year-old goalkeeper Charlie Grainger (who is on loan from Leyton Orient) to dive to his left to push around his near post.
Cray Wanderers’ central midfielder, Steve Smith, who is on loan from landlords Bromley, curled a left-footed shot past the far post from 20-yards, following a slick move which also included Nathan Simpson and Henry down the left.
Smith and Sherratt both impressed in the middle of the park.
Paye said: “We’ve just signed Steve Smith from Bromley on a 28-day loan. We’ve also got Jack Sherratt from Leyton Orient. We’ve just signed him (on loan) for another 28 days. They’ve been the telling factors in the last couple of games.
Dulwich Hamlet were thwarted halfway through the first half when a defence splitting pass from the impressive Abdul Mansaray released Xavier Vidal through the middle but Rhys Campbell got back to make a fine block inside the box.
A free-kick from Sherratt was swung in from the left channel but Rhys Coleman could only direct his downward header straight at Wilson from 12-yards.
Cray Wanderers only corner arrived in the 29th minute when Sherratt’s inswinging corner was headed clear at the near post and the ball came back to Sherratt who cut the ball back to Alex Stavrinou, who took a touch before clearing the crossbar with an angled right-footed drive from 25-yards.
Vidal, who impressed in the middle of the park, only 24 hours after scoring for The FA XI in their 3-0 win over The Royal Engineers at Maidstone United, almost gave Dulwich Hamlet the lead.
Vidal unleashed a powerful swerving free-kick from 28-yards which was beaten out by Grainger, who did well to gather the loose ball before it bounced over the line.
Mansaray then picked up a long ball over the top of the Cray Wanderers defence before cutting inside and drilling a left-footed shot from 20-yards, which curled agonisingly around the post.
But a mistake from Dulwich Hamlet’s central defender Marc-Anthony Okoye gifted the home side the lead in the 40th minute.
Marshall-Katung was alert to the situation and stole the ball off the defender and ran ten yards into the box before slotting his right-footed shot underneath the keeper to find the bottom far corner from 12-yards.
“The last three or four games we’ve probably missed five chances so tonight it was good. It was refreshing for the boys to actually take their chances,” said Paye.
“He done very well. We tried to press them and it worked and he made a mistake and Elyon took his goal very well.”
It was going to be the start of a very bad night for first-team goalkeeper Wilson, who arrived at Hayes Lane late.
Rose revealed: “Phil arrived late because he had a parents evening at school so he was a bit delayed.”
Dulwich Hamlet finished the first half with Mansaray playing the ball inside to Samuels but the skipper’s right-footed drive from 25-yards sailed over.
Both managers were asked their thoughts at the break.
Paye said: “We were our own worst enemy in the first half. We gave the ball away far too many times. We said not to defer from the way we want them to play.”
Rose added: “I was disappointed at half time to be honest. We just didn’t think we played very well, even in and around their box our end product was poor so we wasn’t really too impressed with us and it got even worse in the second half!”
Cray Wanderers doubled their lead with their first attack of the second half with only 148 seconds gone.
They produced a slick move which included Hughes and Marshall-Katung and Stavrinou whipped in a cross from the right towards the far post where diminutive winger Henry bravely sent his diving header into the near corner from two-yards.
Paye said: “We work on that a little bit in training and I’ve always say to him you have to come round the back and arrive late and I’m glad he got his goal tonight because I’ve been on his case in training and in the games as well so he done very well.”
Rose said: “We haven’t defended it well. We had two opportunities to get rid of the ball before the ball went out wide. Ethan dived in when he really should have stayed on his feet. The ball’s got crossed and no-one’s defended it. The back post should have been and Tyler and maybe Phil should really been able to affect it as well.”
Campbell, who is on dual-registration with Holmesdale and scored a penalty for Paul Proctor’s side seven days ago, came up to join a Dulwich Hamlet attack and floated over a cross towards the far post but Myers couldn’t keep his volley down.
But Cray Wanderers killed the game off with a third goal in the 53rd minute.
Sherratt released Hughes with a sublime defence splitting pass and the striker’s right-footed chip from 22-yards sailed past the advancing Wilson and curled into the corner of the empty net.
Paye was pleased that Hughes has staked his claim in the side, taking the place of seven-goal leading goalscorer Tommy Whitnell.
He said: “Dan’s come in tonight. Tommy was injured. We pulled him out just before the game, he’s got a bit of a hamstring problem that he picked up on Saturday.
“Dan Hughes has come in with us from Bromley and we pulled him in and we said to him go out and enjoy it and he’s got himself two goals.”
Rose added: “Bad distances from the two centre halves, they’ve let the guy go in again. Maybe Phil’s come out too early and made the guy’s mind up. With the defenders chasing back he still had a little bit to do but he slotted it home well.”
Things got even better for Cray Wanderers – and worse for Dulwich Hamlet - when the home side scored their fourth goal within four minutes.
Stavrinou played the ball into Smith, who cracked a first-time shot from 20-yards, which took a deflection off a defender, who was closing down the shot.
The ball looped high into the night’s sky and Wilson moved to his left to tip the ball onto the crossbar. The ball dropped down and quick thinking Smith clipped an overhead kick into the net from two-yards.
Paye added: “Again, he’s done well the boy. He’s got into the right position, played without fear really tonight. It’s nice. We said if you don’t shoot we’re not going to score and tonight we did!”
Rose added: “I still thought we could have moved that ball out a bit quicker, cleared that ball out quicker once Phil’s flicked the ball onto the bar. He had no-one else around him, just basically been left to his own devises and no defenders around him. The guy comes in and poaches a goal.”
Dulwich Hamlet created four decent chances after the hour mark to claw themselves back into the game.
The impressive Vidal, an highly-rated eighteen-year-old youth team product, released substitute Joshua Silvera through on goal but Grainger came off his line to make a fine block with his legs.
Vidal’s pass was then dummied by striker Henry-Francis before the striker stroked his right-footed shot across the goalkeeper, who dived low to his left to make the save.
Walker then cut through two players (Helge Orome and Stavrinou) down the left before being denied by Grainger, who kicked the ball away beside his near post.
Vidal then curled a right-footed free-kick around the wall from 26-yards but the on-loan keeper from Leyton Orient got his body behind the shot to make a routine save.
Cray Wanderers created a chance when Henry cut the ball back to Smith, who saw his left-footed curler dip just over the bar from 20-yards.
But Cray Wanderers were celebrating their fifth goal of the night with sixteen minutes of the game left – with their best two players involved.
Smith played the ball to Sherratt, who swept a first time left-footed shot towards goal from 35-yards, which looped over Wilson and sailedl into the top left-hand corner.
Paye said: “He scored on Saturday from outside the box and prior to that he’s been holding on to the ball a little bit too long and we said to him you’ve got to get your shots away and he’s done it Saturday and he’s done it again tonight. He does it in training regular as regular as clockwork. He’s a quality player.”
Rose said: “From their perspective it was a good goal and I still think arguably our goalie shouldn’t be beaten by that type of shot because it was a looped shot. It wasn’t struck true and clean and he shouldn’t be beaten on your line from that!”
It was to be a very frustrating night for Rose as he saw another chance go begging.
Walker cut the ball back to Myers, who played the ball to substitute Emmanuel Steven, who from a tight angle saw his drilled shot pushed over by Grainger’s right-hand at the near post.
Dulwich Hamlet scored a consolation with three minutes remaining.
Substitute Gerry Gonnella, who received a warm welcome from the travelling fans upon his return to action following a lengthy injury, drilled a free-kick into the wall and Campbell pounced to steer the loose ball into the net for a consolation.
Paye added: “A bit disappointing really. We would have liked a clean sheet but we made a couple of changes. Carlos (Talbot) was carrying a bit of an injury so we’ve brought him off and we put Steve Smith in at centre back and put Aaron (Day) in there. Stavs (Stavrinou) was just coming back from food poisoning. It was inevitable that they would get one or two goals.”
Rose added: “It’s better to get a goal than no goals but at the end of the day it was only a consolation.”
Paye said he will report back to the manager after the game.
The pair were managing Bromley’s reserves before chairman Gary Hillman appointed them at the end of September.
“Keith and I have been partners now for many years,” explained Paye.
“We’ve both got high profile jobs and we have to work amongst it. There’s times when I can’t make training, sometimes and he can’t make training and games.
“We are a pure, pure couple in that respect and he’s on the phone to me tonight before the game. We’re always talking hours into the night so there’s a lot of hard work that goes on prior to me going out there.
“We discuss all the tactics and how we want things done. Hopefully when we do all the work on the training ground it should be pretty much a formality on the Saturday and midweek games.”
But three points against Billericay Town at Hayes Lane on Saturday will certainly be welcomed.
“That’s the most important thing for us really – the league situation,” said Paye.
“We’ve got to take the points where we can. That’s the most important thing, for this club to stay up in the Ryman Premiership.”
Rose admitted there is plenty of hard work to do with the club’s fringe players.
He said: “I think a little bit of a reality where the boys are at both mentally and physically. They don’t play games week in week out so we have to take that into consideration but at the same time mentally if they were the boys that we had to rely on week in week out, they’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Cray Wanderers: Charlie Grainger, Helge Orome, Nathan Simpson, Steve Smith, Carlos Talbot (Aaron Day 82), Rhys Coleman, Alex Stavrinou (Anthony Bardon 77), Jack Sherratt, Dan Hughes, Elyon Marshall-Katung, Jason Henry.
Goals: Elyon Marshall-Katung 40, Jason Henry 48, Dan Hughes 53, 57, Jack Sherratt 74
Booked: Helge Orome 65
Dulwich Hamlet: Phil Wilson, Tyler Myers, Kristian Campbell, Kershaney Samuels, Marc-Anthony Okoye, Ethan Pinnock, Abdul Mansaray (Gerry Gonella 69), Xavier Vidal, Marcel Henry-Francis (Emmanuel Steven 77), Kyle Moran (Joshua Silvera 56), Jerome Walker.
Goal: Kristian Campbell 87
Referee: Mr Lee Dyson (Gravesend)
Assistants: Mr Tim Burman (Greenhithe) & Mr Philip Rowley (Canterbury)